Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, boost sales or retain loyal customers, marketing is essential to enabling the growth of your business. But without proper direction, marketing can be an expensive endeavor that sees little to no results. But, you don’t have to break the bank. There are a number of inexpensive marketing ideas for small business.

According to a 2017 report by CMO Survey, out of the surveyed small businesses, the average marketing budget was 11.4% of the companies’ total budget and marketing spend ranged between 6.4%-8.6% of revenues.

If you can’t fork over this amount of cash to hit your marketing goals, don’t worry. We’re going to share 5 cheap marketing strategies that drive big results.

Be a Blogger

A cheap way to market your business and provide genuine value to your buyers is to create a company blog. According to a study by HubSpot, businesses that post 16+ blog posts a month got approximately 4.5 more leads than companies that didn’t have a blog or were regularly posting on one.

In comparison to other marketing methods, creating a blog can be an inexpensive way to bring in new leads, raise brand awareness or even build an email list. Furthermore, you can lower your expenditure by allowing in-house teams or outsourcing freelancers to create regular blog content.

Spread the Word on Social Media

There are more than 4 billion social media users worldwide. The world’s attention is focused on swiping, liking, commenting and sharing.

If you’re looking for a cheap marketing method then social media should be in your arsenal. Facebook has over 2 billion active monthly users and a 2019 report by Pew Research Center shows that 69% of adults in the United States use the social media platform. The same study also concluded that Facebook is the most popular with all demographics, giving your business a broad audience to target.

Aside from being free, social media gives you an opportunity to build connections with your customers. The more trust you build with buyers, the more likely they’ll be to purchase your products.

By building authentic relationships and communities through social media, you inspire a movement around your brand, as opposed to a company that’s just trying to make a sale.

Get Involved in a Giveaway

You must have heard the saying “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” Whether you’ve established a solid online presence or not, one of the most efficient low-cost marketing ideas is to host giveaways and give out sample products.

Invite your prospective buyers to partake in a contest by sharing your social media posts or by signing up to your newsletter. It’s a great way to build brand awareness or build an email list.

Running your contest on social media helps to grow your audience, boost engagement and increase loyalty. Running a giveaway can be done for a relatively low-cost by offering your own products to prospects. According to the Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study, the majority of promotional products are kept for around 8 months, and the study also concluded that 64% of respondents said they’re likely to give the product away when they’re finished with it.

By executing a well-thought-out give away, you can improve your chances of going viral. Millennials and Generation Z are obsessed with brands leading them through an experience. If you’re able to create a fun and exciting atmosphere around your giveaway, your buyers will want to share that with their friends and following.

The bottom line is—people love free stuff and giving away prizes to your following for sharing your content incentivizes their loyalty and raises brand awareness.

Create Emails That Your Customers Want to Read

Email marketing is one of the most inexpensive marketing ideas for small business. According to a 2016 report by Campaign Monitor, when used effectively, email marketing produces a return of investment of $44 for every $1 spent.

Whether your goal is to nurture customers, retain loyalty or convert buyers. Bolstering up your email marketing strategy can yield big results for your business.

With the advancements in email automation, companies are able to send out sequences of emails to their prospects. A report by Experian concluded that transactional emails are 8 times more likely to be opened over any other email and have the ability to generate 6 times more revenue.

Creating an email list can be done by inviting your customers to sign up for your weekly newsletter, taking their details from contests or offering them important promotions and updates about your business. Companies will often include a sign-up form on their website while guiding their buyer through their journey.

Personalizing your emails and providing value to your buyers is important when sending out campaigns. According to 2016 data provided by Statista, email message personalization improved open rate to 18.8%, in comparison to the 13.1% of emails that didn’t have a personalized message.

Cheap Marketing Through Repurposing Old Content

The businesses that constantly create new and engaging content often reap the rewards. Unfortunately, it’s not always within the budget of small businesses to create new content on a regular basis. Recycling old content is a cost-effective marketing strategy to squeeze more juice out existing posts, videos and data.

A few examples of how to repurpose old content:

  • Convert old blog posts and videos into podcasts. In 2019, Edison Research concluded that 51% of the U.S. population aged 12 and over have listened to a podcast. The same research found that 32% has listened to a podcast, within the last month of the study.
  • Translate data and testimonials into case studies. Comments from customers that have good things to say about your business can be created into case studies and backed up with internal data.
  • Make your quotes and statistics visual by creating infographics and images with your data to lure visitors towards your content. Readers often skim headlines but pay more attention to graphics. This is an ideal opportunity to cross-share your content across platforms and social media accounts.
  • Create roundup posts for events, occasions and the end of the year. This is like a highlight reel that follows a certain theme.
  • Combine old blog posts and articles into eBooks and whitepapers. By adding a compilation of data and information from old blog posts you can provide your visitors with value. It’s a cheap marketing strategy to increase leads and boost engagement.

Can Cheap Marketing Be Done?

Low budget or free marketing ideas can be done with little effort and a lot of creativity. Whether your business and marketing goals are to bring in fresh leads or increase your conversion rates, you can create cheap marketing materials in the form of blogs, social media posts or giving away promotional items.

Don’t forget, once you’ve created content, it’s yours to reuse. You can repurpose that content onto other platforms and expand your reach—getting you closer to your marketing objectives.

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